Theoretical and Empirical Studies of Rights  book cover
1st Edition

Theoretical and Empirical Studies of Rights

Edited By

Laura Beth Nielsen

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ISBN 9780754625810
Published August 28, 2007 by Routledge
642 Pages

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Book Description

This important volume examines rights from an inter-disciplinary law and society perspective, beginning with the premise that the most basic functions of rights requires the empirical study of rights consciousness and claiming behavior. As such the volume includes articles and essays by political scientists, historians, lawyers, and sociologists which place the study of ordinary citizens' understandings of rights, and what actions they take based on that knowledge, at the forefront of an empirical research agenda. This has important implications for law's capacity to achieve social change and can lead to better understanding of how rights can and should operate in a social and legal system. The volume is organized around the social movements and political processes which give rise to rights, the processes by which people come to understand they enjoy a right, the decision to invoke the right either formally or informally, and the organizational and institutional constraints and opportunities for exercising rights.

Table of Contents

Contents: Series preface; Introduction; Part I Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on Theories of Rights: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations; Of property, John Locke; Constitutional democracy: a paradoxical union of contradictory principles?, Jürgen Habermas; The model of rules, Ronald M. Dworkin. Part II Conflicts Of and About Rights: The new property, Charles A. Reich; Rights in conflict, Jeremy Waldron; Interpreting rights: an essay for Robert Cover, Martha Minow; An essay on rights, Marc Tushnet. Part III Rights in Empirical Relief: The emergence and transformation of disputes: naming, blaming, claiming..., William L.F. Felstiner, Richard L. Abel and Austin Sarat; Rights, remembrance, and the reconciliation of difference, David M. Engel and Frank W. Munger; Situating legal consciousness: experiences and attitudes of ordinary citizens about law and street harassment, Laura Beth Nielsen; Rights in Organizations: Internal dispute resolution: the transformation of civil rights in the workplace, Lauren B. Edelman, Howard S. Erlanger and John Lande; Bargaining in the shadow of institutions: competing discourses and social change in workplace mobilization of civil rights, Catherine R. Albiston. Rights in Social Movements: Reform litigation on trial, Michael W. McCann; Hollow hopes and other aspirations: a reply to Feeley and McCann, Gerald N. Rosenberg. Rights in Global Contexts: The ADA on the road: disability rights in Germany, Katharina C. Heyer; Rights, religion and community: approaches to violence against women in the context of globalization, Sally Engle Merry; Name index.

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Professor Laura Beth Nielsen is a Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University both in the USA. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program (Ph.D. 1999) and Boalt Hall School of Law (J.D. 1996). Her primary field is the sociology of law, with particular interest the relationship between law and inequalities of race, gender, and class. She is author or editor of 4 books including The New Civil Rights Research: A Constitutive Approach (co-edited with Ben Fleury-Steiner, Ashgate 2006).